Montagnola Residence

A house for a family of art collectors that weaves together art, architecture, and landscape into an elevated whole greater than the sum of its parts.

The house is situated on a steep hillside at the edge of the Swiss Alps. The key elements shaping the design are building’s visual relationship with its context, particularly the direction of the sun, and the position of the site along the west facing mountain slope. Throughout the house, the surrounding landscape and the lake are utilized to animate each interior space with the changing weather and natural light.

The balanced architectural composition organizes the main spaces of the residence into two rectangular solids are placed parallel to one another and connected by a transparent loggia at ground level, as the main entrance. This parti creates an inner courtyard that faces Lake Lugano and takes advantage of the southern exposure and natural light. The bedrooms and private spaces are located within the top level of rectangular volume, while on the lower level the kitchen and large outdoor terrace create additional connective spaces. The spa and fitness area at the lower level open towards the garden, the sun deck and the pool.

The design allows the residents to experience true harmony with nature. Every level has access to gardens and terraces, each with different orientations that provide unique views and varying levels of privacy. Internal and external staircases provide vertical circulation between each floor, allowing for the spatial experience of the house to unfold as a procession through a series of modulated spaces, taking one from the outdoors to indoors, and then back outdoors again.